Around 1,000 troops to be sent to the region following a request from US Military Central Command and consultation with White House; Troops deployed will assist in air, naval, and ground-based defense; US releases photos and videos of IRGC removing evidence from its attack on oil tankers.
The United States Department of Defense confirmed it will send an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East amidst threats from the Islamic Republic of Iran and tensions in the Gulf region. The deployment was announced by acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on Monday who confirmed the authorization of “approximately 1,000 additional troops for defensive purposes to address air, naval, and ground-based threats in the Middle East.” A request for an increase in forces was made by the US Central Command and followed talks with White House officials.
Shanahan cited Iran and its proxies’ ongoing violence and recent attacks, as well as the “credible intelligence we have received on hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups that threaten United States personnel and interests across the region.” While the “United States does not seek conflict with Iran…” he added, “the action today is being taken to ensure the safety and welfare of our military personnel working throughout the region and to protect our national interests.” He assured the public that “We will continue to monitor the situation diligently and make adjustments to force levels as necessary given intelligence reporting and credible threats.”
The United States released photos and videos of Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps forces removing a mine used to attack one of two oil tankers last week. According to the US Military Central Command who released the evidence on Monday, “Iran is responsible for the attack based on video evidence and the resources and proficiency needed to quickly remove the unexploded limpet mine.”
Iran continues to deny it carried out the attacks and claims its part of the United States’ efforts to bring war and conflict to the region. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gave a televised address on Tuesday from Tehran where he claimed “Iran will not wage war against any nation. Those facing us are a group of politicians with little experience.”